Starbucks Muslim Workers Slip Feces into Coffee, Spread Tuberculosis-Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
After committing to hiring Muslim refugees, Starbucks’ Muslim workers have been slipping feces into coffee and spreading tuberculosis.
A website known for spreading disinformation is behind false claims that Starbucks’ Muslim workers have been caught slipping feces into coffee.
The story first appeared at USA Politics Today on August 11, 2017, under the headline, “Starbucks’ Muslim Workers Slipping FAR Worse Than Feces In Your Drinks – This ‘Extra’ Could Kill You.”
The story claims that Starbucks has gone on a “Muslim refugee hiring spree” in an act of resistance to President Trump, and that an unnamed “watchdog program” found fecal matter in coffee samples. Then, switching speeds, the article claims that 21 percent of Muslim refugees in San Diego have tuberculosis:
21.4 percent of Muslim refugees in the San Diego County carry tuberculosis, a disgusting disease that infects the lungs and is easily spread through the air by speaking, coughing, sneezing, or spitting. The location that Starbucks is picking their Muslim workers from is in San Diego County, a place where this highly-contagious disease runs rampant throughout the Muslim migrant community.
We couldn’t find any proof to back up the claim that feces was found in Starbucks coffee, and that it was linked to Starbucks’ hiring of Muslim refugees. As is often the case with these disinformation reports, however, the story combines a number of recent news stories to form the false narrative that Starbucks employees slipped feces into coffee.
In June 2017, we investigated claims that fecal matter was found in Starbucks (and other coffee chains’) iced coffee and found them to be true and misleading. It’s true that testing found fecal matter present at some level — but experts say that fecal matter can be found at some level in nearly all processed food.
And in January 2017, there were misleading reports about a Starbucks commitment to hire 10,000 Muslim refugees. Anti-immigrant websites claimed or implied that Starbucks would hire 10,000 refugees in the U.S. — but the company committed to hiring 10,000 across its locations in 75 countries around the world.
Claims that surfaced in August 2017 about Starbucks workers slipping feces into coffee appear to combine these earlier and unrelated stories into one false narrative.
And the story’s claim that 21 percent of refugees in San Diego have tuberculosis don’t check out, either. TB cases in San Diego have been on the decline for the last 20 years, and while 74 percent of cases involve people born outside the country, 54 percent of them are from Asian countries, 33 percent were from Mexico and 8 percent were from Africa in 2016, according to San Diego public health officials. Based on country of origin, the correlation between Muslim refugees and TB in San Diego don’t appear to hold up.
USA Politics Today is known for publishing fabricated reports like this one. We’ve looked at false reports from the website that Bill Clinton was on his deathbed and that Jill Stein endorsed President Trump during the 2016 election. The website’s disclaimer comes close to admitting that it’s fake news by stating, “no claims whatsoever can be made as to the specific benefits” of the content that appears there.
Given all that, we’re calling claims about Starbucks’ Muslim employees “fiction.”